This October 7th, the first World Fry Championship was organized in Arras, in the north of France. Nilufar Bahadir, a vervetois who has been abroad with her family in Cannes for four years, was relegated to 2nd place in the real roast category for professionals. After being selected from around seventy, this Saturday she had to make live fries on the Grand-Place in Arras, as she knows how to do well at her stand in the Fourville covered market: peeled and cut to size. Beef breast is cooked in etc.
“We ended up in the finals and we’re in 2nd place. We had some problems at the Briar. Next year, we’re definitely participating and we’re going to win. Here, we don’t know how it’s going, here we are. Beef breast and we were given an induction hob, But we needed a fryer… the temperature was not optimal”, Her husband, Mehdi Chennahe, now the Carlton’s executive sous chef, was her “clerk” today. “We are happy with the journey and we are happy with what we have achieved. It’s a really cool event, the 1st World Fry Championship. Both are there, crazy!… Then the course is more than the title.”
Queen of fries in Cannes
Indeed, the story of the couple who moved to live in the south of France after spending 36 years in Verviers is worth telling. They chose this career because Mehdi wanted to work in “palaces”. Upon their arrival, they both began working for Martinez. “It’s another universe for us, it’s the Cannes Film Festival, a star-studded hotel,…”
But despite this, Nilufar has a craving for fries! “We were comfortable in the sun and sea. But my wife has always been a fan of fries and when we lived in Verviers we went to get fries 3 to 4 times a week and it was her pastime. Here, in the south, we went here and there to eat, and every time the fries were not prepared properly … so my wife told me: we will do business selling fries, but the real fries, ‘old fashioned… we knew as children!’
After finding good ingredients and securing a place in the Forville market (with the support of the mayor), La Fry d’Or was born a year and a half ago. “We started a small business that didn’t look like much: a stall with two tables and a trailer behind it. But one thing led to another and it grew. It has become a meeting place for all Belgians in Cannes. Today, my wife looks a bit like the queen of fries.”
By telling their story, Mehdi wants to give the people of Vervitois a message of hope after ordeals like the flood. “We belong to Cannes because they welcomed us and allowed us to develop and grow our business… But we will always be Vervietois, it’s in our DNA. We want to give the Verviétois a message of hope: you never know what tomorrow will bring, so do what’s on your mind and go for it! “
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